RAPID CITY, S.D. — For years, renovations have been in the works for the Rapid City Fire Department’s headquarters, Fire station 1.
“Fire Station 1 was built in 1975, so it’s approaching 50 years old at this point,” said Jason Culberson, the Fire Chief for the Rapid City Fire Department.
The station houses firefighters and over 160 total authorized employees, all in desperate need of operational space.
“At this point we are out of space,” Chief Culberson said. “We have folks that are occupying what previously was storage, closets, closets, and areas that weren’t suitable to be a office, that’s what we’re occupying now.”
In May, the city of Rapid City asked its agencies to put together proposals to spend a city surplus, some $20 million.
The original figure for RCFD, $10 million with featured figures from past years as the guide, now bumped up to $15 million due to a more accurate quote from an architect and rising supply costs.
These renovations would double the size of the current station (from roughly 19,000 square feet to 41,000 square feet) and would provide space for many things.
One of those would be a place to dispose of gear that’s contaminated with harmful elements that come with the job.
Added space would also accommodate the departments growing number of female employees.
“There’s still not a privacy for our individual employees and at least what they would expect,” Culberson said.
The Rapid City Council heard the proposal on Friday and will revisit the subject of funding in the coming weeks.